Friday, 14 November 2014

Mind Your Own Business! Mind it Here, Mind it There, Mind Your #BusinessAnywhere #ModernBiz

Mind your own business!
Easier said than done. Small business owners in today's uber connected global economy have a long list of responsibilities, concerns and issues to learn about, plan for and contend with. 

In other words many things to juggle and many balls to keep in the air at any given time, and chances are if you are successful at this #modernbiz juggling act you're successful in your Small Business or you are working for Cirque du Soleil.

So how do you mind your own business in this time of #ModernBiz. Surely there must be a component of workplace flexibility and the ability to work anywhere. It must go beyond the ability to cut, past and bookmark for later when you do the actual work on a desk or laptop. It must be more that just being able to check your email, surf the web, and interact in social media.

To me #ModernBiz is the ability to fully conduct your business anywhere. Including full access to information, documents, images. Including the ability to fully edit, create, and communicate. It must include the ability to do your books, banking, inventory ... and in the words of Dr Seuss: 
"in a house, in a box, in a car, in a tree, in a boat, on a train" or even on a plane.

There are so many devices, apps, services, and resources to help small business #workanywhere, that the sheer volume can be overwhelming. Where do you start to figure out what you need, where to get it, and can you afford it? But you must ask yourself: Can you afford not to?
I think it's safe to say a good place to start is device(s) and which are best suited to enable you to conduct your business anywhere and everywhere. Two devices with features that work for me are the Dell Venue Pro, and the Microsoft Surface Pro 3
I find the Dell Venue Pro 8 excellent value, and I really like the full version of Windows 8. I personally find the screen size on the small side to be a full time replacement for my laptop, but more than adequate for travelling and work outside the office. It should be noted my kids whose eyesight is clearly better have no such problem with the screen size. Bonus: unlike my laptop that must be taken out of  my carryon going through airport security my experience has been that my tablet and phones do not. I have the Dell BlueTooth Keyboard Folio  to go with my Venue Pro and it is the best bluetooth keyboard I have used to date. 

Image via

I have not had the opportunity to test drive the Surface Pro 3 (not that I won't love too) but there are several features I am really drawn to including being to use the stylus to make notes right on an image, map or page. I find the challenge of integrating documents, notes and graphics extremely frustrating and often opt for the old school method of copying and pasting everything to a word document and printing a hard copy to make notes on. Not only is this method time consuming, not practical without access to a printer, I also find it equally challenging to get the hard copy with notes back into a quality digital form. I fully understand this no doubt due to the operator's skill and knowledge (or lack there of) but I am the majority not the minority so any device that can provide easy intuitive solutions to the tech challenged has my vote. The price point on the Surface Pro 3 is high but given the specs it may make the larger up front investment cheaper in the long run.

Image via Microsoft Store

There are many brands and devices, tablets, laptops, and phones in a variety of price points to help make business anywhere and everywhere a reality for you. Look around, read reviews, ask questions, and be sure to take advantage of the resources offered by brands who make the devices. Many have blogs, forums and resources specifically for small business where they share a gold mine of information, and links to resources. 

Next take stock of what your business requires you to do and what tools, apps, and services will allow you to do that anywhere. This may include virtual meetings, file sharing where multiple people have access to edit a document, payroll or real time inventory. Each business and business owner will have different needs and priorities but a suite of products may be your best and most cost effective option. Products such as Windows365 for Business can help you to keep all those balls in the air, and make the idea of doing business anywhere your reality. Look into what products work best for you, ask others what they use and why, and be sure to take advantage of all the free information, tutorials, and support the companies providing the tools, services and apps have to offer.

Given that much of the business we do today is online, keeping your business secure must be a priority. You can't simply hope it will take care of itself, or that no news (yet) is good news. Have a plan and the tools, systems, and products you need in place to secure all your transactions and safe guard information, including client and staff personal information, payroll, and banking information. Prevention is a far better option than crisis management after the fact. Most of us are not experts in this area, but there are resources available to educate yourself, ask questions, and help you determine what products and services you need, why you need them, and the initial and maintenance costs. 

Security also includes secure storage and back up of all your data and information. The cost of not doing this could sink a small business. Multiple safe guards and preventive measures are a must.

I admit that my knowledge of services, tools and security are a work in progress. That's why it is so important to share information. What great tips, tools, apps, or products do you use and find to be a great fit for your small business? 

Here are a few places you will find a stockpile of great information on all areas of business: Microsoft for Your BusinessTELUS Talks Business Blog, and Dell Canada Social Centre - Small & Medium Business Resources and Dell for Entrepreneurs

If you are not already on twitter, you might want to consider joining and following:


and while you are there join in on some of the many business related chats found on twitter. They are an excellent place to ask questions, share information, network and be part of a community.

Yep, just me Cathy thinking out loud about Small Business. 

Note: I was not compensated in any way for this post. The purpose of this post was merely to share my opinion and some resources I thought might be of interest to my readers.

1 comment :

  1. Since I am a freelancer, I am always thankful for getting more tips that can help productivity. Thanks for the review.